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Journal of Projective Techniques
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The Adjustment of the Male Overt
Homosexual
a
Evelyn Hooker
a
Department of Psychology , University of California , Los
Angeles, USA
Published online: 16 Nov 2010.

To cite this article: Evelyn Hooker (1957) The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual,
Journal of Projective Techniques, 21:1, 18-31, DOI: 10.1080/08853126.1957.10380742

To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08853126.1957.10380742

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The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual
HOOKER
EVELYN 1,2, 3
Department of Psychology, University of California a t Los Angeles

Current psychiatric and psycholog- same report ( 1 , p. 4): “It is well
ical opinion about the adjustment of known that inany people, including
the homosexual may be illustrated by physicians, react in an exaggerated
a quotation from a report on homo- way to sexual deviations and particu-
sexuality recently issued by the Group larly to homosexuality with disgust,
for the Advancement of Psychiatry ( 1 , anger, and hostility. Such feelings of-
p. 2): “When such homosexual be- ten arise from the individual’s own con-
havior persists in an adult, it is then flict centering about his unconscious
a symptom of a severe emotional dis- homosexual impulses. These attitudes
order.” If one wishes to subject this may interfere with an intelligent and
opinion to experimental investigation, objective handling of the problem.”
one is immediately confronted by One hopes that the clinician does not
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problems of considerable magnitude. react with “disgust, anger, and hos-
One problem is the attitude and the- tility.” I t is not realistic to hope that
oretical position of the clinician who he will avoid theoretical preconcep-
may be asked to examine the data. I tions when looking at psychological
quote again from the Group for the material which he knows was ob-
Advancement of Psychiatry in the tained from a homosexual.
--
I T h i s investigation was supported by a re- From a survey of the literature i t
search grant, Grant M-839, from T h e Na- seemed highly probable that few clin-
tional Institute of Mental Health of the icians have ever had the opportunity
National Institutes of Health, Puhlic Health
Service. to examine homosexual subjects who
Paper read a t the American Psychological neither came for psychological help
Association Convention, Chicago, August 30, nor were found in mental hospitals,
1956. disciplinary barracks in the Armed
3 1 wish to acknowledge the invaluable as- Services, or in prison populations. It
sistance given by Dr. J. A. Gengerelli in act- therefore seemed important, when I
ing as consultant on experimental design
and statistical methodology. I wish also to set out to investigate the adjustment
gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the homosexual, to obtain a sample
made to the project by Dr. Frederic G. Wor- of overt homosexuals who did not
den in his capacity of psychiatric consul- come from these sources; that is, who
tant. Finally, there is n o adequate way to
express my gratitude to Dr. Karl Muenzinger had a chance of being individuals
for his assistance in thinking through the who, on the surface at least, seemed
total project with me in its many phases. to have an average adjustment, pro-
Editorial Note: I t is an imcommoii event in vided that (for the purpose of the
these days of compulsive publication to dis- investigation) homosexuality is not
cover an author who has worked diligently considered to be a symptom of mal-
and with great detail and who hesitates to adjustment. It also seemed important
publish well-substantiated findings until
proof is virtually incontrovertible. A study to obtain a comparable control group
snch as Dr. Hooker’s challenges several wide- of heterosexuals. This group would
spread and emotional convictions. I n viciv not only provide a standard of com-
of the importance of her findings it seemed
de+ahle to the editors that they be made
parison but might also make it pos-
public, even in their prcliminary form. If sible to avoid labels and thus assist
yome of Dr. Hooker’s comments. as cautious- the clinician in suspending theoretical
l y presented as they are, seem premature or preconceptions. This, I recognized,
incompletely documented, the blame must
fall on the editors who eyercised consider- would be fraught with extreme diffi-
able pressure on hcr to puhliyh now--RRF culties. And so i t was. Without re-
HOOKER
EVELYN 19
lating in detail the - i n many ways - has as itb stated purpose the develop-
fascinating, frustrating, and gratify- ment of a homosexual ethic in order
ing aspects of the attempts to secure to better integrate the homosexual
both of these groups, I shall describe into society. T h e members of the Mat-
the homosexual and heterosexual tachine Society not only made them-
samples of thirty individuals each selves available as subjects but also
finally obtained. persuaded their friends to become
Each homosexual man is matched subjects. Because the heterosexuals
for age, education, and IQ with a were, for the most part, obtained from
heterosexual man. It would have been community organizations which must
desirable to match for other variables, remain anonymous, I cannot describe
also, including occupation, but this further the way in which they were
was manifestly impossible. I t should obtained.
also be stated at the outset that no as- Considerable effort was devoted to
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sumptions are made about the ran- securing the 30 matched pairs of sub-
dom selection of either group. No one jects, and the data in Table I indi-
knows what a random sample of the cate that in most instances the match-
homosexual population would be ing was unusually close.
like; and even if one knew, it would T h e homosexuals, and thus the
be extremely difficult, if not impos- heterosexuals, ranged in age from 25
sible, to obtain one. T h e project to 50, with an average age of 34.5 for
would not have been possible without the homosexual group and 36.6 for
the invaluable assistance of the Mat- the heterosexual group. T h e IQ range,
tachine Society, an organization which as measured by the Otis Self-Adminis-

I
TABLE
Homosexual Heterosexual
Matched Pairs Age IQ Ecltication Age IQ Education
Number
1.................................................. 42 105 12 41 105 12
2.. ................................................ 29 104 12 28 104 12
3. ............................................... 29 109 9 31 109 12
31 120 16 30 123 16
5 . ................................................ 44 127 18 45 126 17
6.. ................................................ 33 127 16 32 129 16
,.................................................. 40 124 16 42 123 16
8............................................ 33 124 16 36 122 16
10 98 12 42 100 12
10.................................................. 33 101 14 32 105 15
11.................................................. 30 127 14 29 127 16
12.................................................. 42 91 12 39 94 14
13.................................................. 44 98 9 44 100 12
14.................................................. 36 114 16 36 117 16
15.................................................. 33 120 14 34 120 16
16.................................................. 40 106 12 44 107 12
17.................................................. 37 116 12 34 113 14
18.................................................. 36 127 16 36 127 I6
~.
35 103 12 37 101 11
20.................................................. 26 133 18 27 133 18
21.................................................. 33 124 13 36 122 16
22.................................................. 32 123 12 39 120 12
23.................................................. 26 123 16 29 133 16
24.......................................... 26 123 16 29 133 16
41 135 16 39 119 16
26.................................................. 28 114 16 35 112 13
27.................................................. 27 118 13 48 119 13
28.................................................. 27 110 14 48 113 16
29.................................................. 57 95 14 46 100 12
30 .................................................. 26 124 14 30 129 12
20 The Adjustment of the Male Ouert Homosexual
tering Tests of Mental Ability, was beforehand about the homosexual as-
from 90 to 135, with an average for pects of the project. When an indi-
the homosexual group of‘ 115.4 and vidual came to me, after describing
for the heterosexual group of 116.2. to him the nature of the testing and
I n education the range was from com- the interview and securing his willing-
pletion of grammar school to the ness to participate in the project, I
equivalent of a master’s degree, with then described very briefly the pur-
an average for the homosexual group pose of the study, including the homo-
of 13.9 years and for the heterosexual sexual group. It was impossible to
group of 14.3. avoid this explanation. T h e commun-
I n both groups subjects were elim- ity leaders who referred these men
inated who were in therapy at the were concerned about possible reper-
time. If, in the preliminary screening, cussions ol a “sex study”. They re-
evidence of considerable disturbance quired that each man be informed
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appeared, the individual was elimin- that the total project involved a com-
ated (5 heterosexuals; 5 homosexuals). parison of homosexual and heterosex-
I attempted to secure homosexuals ual men. I had, therefore, to risk the
who would be pure for homosexual- effect of this information upon my
ity; that is, without heterosexual ex- subjects. So, having very briefly des-
perience. With three exceptions this cribed the project to him, I then
is so. These three subjects had not asked whether he had had any homo-
had more than three heterosexual ex- sexual inclinations or experience.
periences, and they identified them- This question was put in a matter-of-
selves as homosexual in their patterns fact way and only after a good rela-
of desire and behavior. T h e hetero- tionship of cooperation had been es-
sexual group is exclusively heterosex- tablished. If the individual seemed to
ual beyond the adolescent period, be severely disturbed by the question,
with three exceptions: these three had or responded in a bland way, or de-
had a single homosexual experience nied it vehemently, I did not include
each. I n the effort to control the pres- him in the sample of 30. I t is possible,
ence of homosexuality, latent or other- though I doubt it, that there are some
wise, in the heterosexual group, each heterosexuals in my group who have
potential subject was referred by a strong latent or concealed overt
responsible leader of a community homosexuality.
group, who described him as being a T h e materials used for the coiii-
thorough-going heterosexual and well parative study of personality struc-
adjusted. This was an attempt to take ture and adjustment of these two
precautions to eliminate as many men groups of men consisted of a battery
as possible with homosexual patterns of projective techniques, attitude
of behavior. I t did not do so, and scales, and intensive life history inter-
some individuals came who had to views. T h e material I am reporting
be eliminated because, though mar- on here is largely from an analysis of
ried and functioning in the commun- the Rorschach, T A T , and MAPS,
ity as married men, they had had ex- with some references to life histories,
tensive homosexual experience (four the detailed analysis of which has not
subjects). yet been completed.
T h e heterosexual subjects came be- I used the Rorschach because many
cause they were told that this was an clinicians believe it to be the best
opportunity to contribute to our un- method of assessing total personality
derstanding of the way in which the structure and, also, because it is one
average individual in the community of the test instruments currently used
functions, since we had little data on for the diagnosis of homosexuality.
normal men. They were told nothing T h e 60 Rorschach protocols were
HOOKER
EVELYN 21

scored by me, the usual tabulations as methods of handling aggression,
made, and the profiles constructed. affection and dependency needs, meth-
With all identifying information ex- ods of impulse control, and clinical
cept age eliminated, they were then label, if any. These judgment cate-
arranged in random order. T w o clin- gories were used because of their the-
icians, who are also experts in Ror- oretical importance in current ap-
schach, analyzed each of the 60 proto- proaches to homosexuality. T h e ad-
cols separately in this order. Because justment rating was o n a five-point
of the importance of knowing how, by scale: from 1, superior, to 5, malad-
what process, using what evidence in justed; with 3 representing average
the Rorschach, a judge arrived at his adjustment. T h e norm which the
rating or judgment in each of the judges used was, of course, a subject-
categories, each judge was urged to ive one, of average adjustment in the
describe as much as he could of the population at large, not just in this
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procedure he was using, the conclu- group. Assigning a n adjustment rat-
sions arrived at, and the evidence ing to a Rorschach protocol is diffi-
used; and the whole process was re- cult, as all of us know. T h e meanings
corded by Audograph. Let it be said of the five points of the rating scale
here that the task which the judges were defined as follows: (1) superior,
were asked to perform, that of anal- o r top adjustment; better than the
yzing 60 records in succession and of average person in the total popula-
verbalizing the whole process, was a t i 1; ~ ~ i c t e of
n ~superior
e integration
monumental one. It demanded not of capacities, both intellectual and
only a devotion to science “beyond emotional; ease and comfort in rela-
the call of duty” but also an admir- tion to the self and i n functioning
able willingness to expose one’s falli- effectively in relation to the social
bility. My success in persuading Dr. environment: (3) as well-adjusted as
Klopfer and Dr. Mortimer Meyer, for the average person in the total popu-
the Rorschach, and Dr. Shneidman, lation; nothing conspicuously good
for the T A T and MAPS, to give SO o r bad: (5) bottom limit of normal
generously of themselves in this pro- group and/or maladjusted, with signs
ject was primarily due to their belief of pathology. Ratings 2 and 4 are
in its importance and to their eager- self-evident, 2 being better-than-aver-
ness to see a unique body of material age but not quite superior, and 4
and to engage in what they antici- being worse-than-average, or the bot-
pated to be a rewarding learning ex- tom limit of the average group. These
perience. ratings are very difficult to objectify,
T h e purpose of the Rorschach an- and i t is very difficult to be sure that
alysis was two-fold: (1) to obtain a n they were used in the same way by
unbiased judgment (that is, without the two judges.
knowledge of homosexual or hetero- One further comment about proced-
sexual identification of subjects and ure, before discussing the results of
without life-history materials) of per- the judging o n adjustment: each
sonality structure and overall adjust- judge, before he began, knew that
ment of the subjects in both groups: some records were homosexual and
(2) to determine the accuracy with some were heterosexual. Most clinici-
which expert clinicians who are Ror- ans in the Los Angeles area are fam-
schach workers can differentiate iliar with the project, and i t would
homosexual from heterosexual rec- have been impossible to secure ex-
ords. Each judge was asked, in addi- perts without some knowledge of it.
tion to the overall adjustment rating, T h e judge was told that the oppor-
to analyze the Rorschach protocol in tunity to distinguish homosexual
terms of a number of categories, such from heterosexual records would
22 T h e Adjustment of the Male Ouert Homosexual
TABLE
11-Ratings on Overall Adjustment-Rorschach
Ratings
(TOP) (Bottom)
Group 1 2 3 4 5
Judge “A” Homosexual .......................................... 9 9 4 3 5
Heterosexual ......................................... 6
- -
l2 __5 3
- -
4
Total ............................................... 15 21 9 6 9
Judge “B” Homosexual .......................................... 2 15 5 4 4
Heterosexual .........................................
Total ...............................................
-
4
2 -8
23
__9
14
-8
12
3
-
7

come later and that the present task superior adjustment for the homosex-
was that of telling me as much as he ual group. By the method of “grand
could about what he thought the sub- medians”, chi square for Judge “A”
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ject to be like in personality struc- is zero for the differences in adjust-
ture and adjustment. If anything im- ment between heterosexuals and
pressed him about the pattern of sex- homosexuals and for Judge “B” the
ual adjustment, he should say it, but difference is 2.31, which is insignifi-
this was not the primary purpose of cant.
this stage of the analysis. T h e task of T h e immediate question is the de-
the judges was broken down into two gree of agreement between the two
steps: (1) T h e protocols were anal- judges. Although a Tschuprow coef-
yzed, with overall adjustment ratings ficient between the ratings of Tudge
given and summary judgments made, “A” and Judge “B” is only 0.33, it is
in the categories already described: important to point out that the situ-
and (2) each judge was then present- ation is not as bad as this low coef-
ed with 30 pairs of protocols, matched ficient would seem to indicate.
for age, education, and IQ, the task Table I11 shows that the two judges
being to distinguish the homosexual agreed exactly in 19 of the 60 cases,
record in each pair. 8 being homosexual and 11 hetero-
T h e results of the judging of adjust- sexual. I n 23 cases they disagreed by
ment from the Rorschach protocols one rating step, 12 of these being
are presented in Table 11. homosexual and 11 heterosexual. Thir
It will be noted that there are no means that in 4 2 out of the 60 ca6es
significant diflerences between the there was either exact agreement or
number of homosexuals and hetero- disagreement by only one step. So
sexuals having a rating of 3 and better i t is safe to say that in two-thirds of
for each judge; two-thirds of each the total distribution there is high
group are assigned an adjustment rat- agreement. An additional fact that
ing of 3 or better. There are apparent may be pointed out is that 14, or ap-
differences between judges. For Judge proximately one-half, of the homo-
“R” there is a greater unwillingness sexuals were placed either in Adjust-
to assign a top rating. I n fact, for ment Rating 1 or 2 by both judges.
Judge “B”, there is a slight but in- How is one to interpret this find-
significant trend in the direction of ing? Is one to take it at face value and

TABLE
I11
Sumher of Subjects
Difference? Total Homosexual Heterosexual
0 (exact agreement)....................................................... I9 8 11
1 rating step.................................................................... 23 12 11
2 rating steps................................................................... 14 7 7
3 rating steps.................................................................. -4 3
- 1
60 30 SO
HOOKER
EVELYN 23
assume that the Rorschach is a valid objects elaborated with unusual de-
instrunient for determining adjust- tail; responses giving evidence of con-
ment in the way in which we have siderable sexual confusion, with cas-
defined it? If so, then clearly there is tration anxiety, and/or hostile or fear-
no inherent connection between path- ful attitudes toward women; evidence
ology and homosexuality. But caution of feminine cultural identification,
is needed. As clinicians, we are well and/or emotional involvement be-
aware, in daily practice, of the limi- tween males. When these clues ap-
tations of projective material anal- peared in neither o r in both records,
yzed “blind”. Nevertheless, the quan- the judge was forced to look for other
titative results are striking, and they evidence, and most frequently de-
are confirmed in part by observations pended upon peculiar verbalization,
of the judges, as well as- and I say or responses with idiosyncratic mean-
this with great caution - by life- ing, or the “flavor” of the total rec-
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history data. ord. When careful examination failed
But let us look at the results in the to reveal anything distinctive, the
second task given the judges, that of judge assumed that the more banal
distinguishing between matched pairs or typical record was that of the het-
of homosexual and heterosexual rec- erosexual, an assumption which was
ords. This is a much easier task than sometimes false.
that which the clinician ordinarily After the judging was completed,
faces, of identifying homosexuality and, indeed, even while i t was in pro-
in one record out of many; and yet cess, both judges commented on the
it proved to be a very difficult one. fact that the records which they
As a judge compared the matched thought to be homosexual were un-
protocols, he would frequently com- like the ones they were familiar with
ment, “There are n o clues;” or, in the clinic. They were not the dis-
“These are so similar that you are turbed records ordinarily seen. One
out to skin us alive;” or, “It is a forced judge, in the process of choosing,
choice;” or, “I just have to guess.” T h e said, “It begins to look as if the homo-
difficulty of the task was reflected not sexuals have all the good things: for
only in the comments of the judges example, M’s and Fc.” I t may be
but also in the results. Judge “A” cor- pertinent to reiterate that I had made
rectly identified 17 of the 30 pairs, and a n effort to secure records of homo-
Judge “B” 18 of the 30. T h u s neither sexuals who ordinarily would not be
judge was able to do better than seen i n a clinic. A discussion of the
chance. I n seven pairs both judges validity and reliability of homosexual
were incorrect, that is, identifying signs is tangential to this symposium4,
the homosexual as the heterosexual, but I would point out in passing that
and vice versa; in twelve pairs, cor- my data indicate the need for a thor-
rect; and in the remaining eleven they ough-going reconsideration of this
disagreed. problem. At a minimum, healthy
Let us look at the problems the skepticism about many (but not all)
judges faced. I n some pairs of records so-called homosexual-content signs in
none of the clues usually considered the Rorschach is, I think, called for.
to be signs of homosexuality occurred. T h e inability of the judges to dis-
I n some pairs the “homosexual clues” tinguish the homosexual from the
appeared in both records. These heterosexual records better than
“homosexual clues” were primarily
anality, open or disguised; avoidance ‘ A paper on “Homosexuality in the Ror-
schach“ is in process of preparation. It will
of areas usually designated as vaginal contain a full di,cussion of homosexual
areas; articles of feminine clothing, sign>, a5 well a< other aspects of homo-
especially under-clothing, and/or art sexualitv in the Rorschach.
24 T h e Adjustment of the Male Ouert Homosexual
would be expected by chance fits, I of probabilities deters me from draw-
think, the finding on adjustment of ing too many conclusions from these
the two groups. Some of the records two findings, although there is good
can be easily distinguished; the fact theoretical rationale for them. Tfie
that the judges agreed in their identi- details of the analysis will be discussed
fication of twelve pairs indicates this. more appropriately in a later paper.
These were records of individuals I cite these general findings at this
with strong emphasis on “femininity” time in order to show that despite
and/or anality. But apart from these, considerable effort and the pursuing
which constitute about a third of the of many alluring possibilities, the ef-
group, the remaining two-thirds can- forts thus Ear to establish clear-cut dif-
not be easily distinguished. If the ferences between the two groups as
homosexual records had been simi- a whole have been relatively fruitless.
lar to those frequently seen in the This, too, is consistent with the lack
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clinic, that is, severely disturbed, there of significant differences between the
might have been greater probability adjustments of the two groups.
that they could have been correctly I n addition to the overall adjust-
identified, although this cannot be ment ratings, each judge gave sum-
said with certainty. I have now seen mary statements about each subject
about two hundred homosexual rec- in a number of categories, including
ords and would be skeptical about my methods of handling aggression, af-
ability to identify correctly records fectional and dependency needs, and
similar to many in this group. form of impulse control. When these
Although it is not pertinent to this statements were tabulated and wb-
symposium5 to present in detail the jected to statistical analysis, again
findings of the statistical compari- no clear-cut differences emerged.GFor
sons of the two groups of Rorschach example, the statements about affec-
protocols, it is relevant to point out tional and dependency needs have
in summary form that most of these been tabulated in eleven categories,
comparisons have failed to produce such as repressed or absent, ego-alien,
differences of sufficient magnitude to integrates well, controlled by (that is,
satisfy tests of significance. Several a dependent character). Four homo-
examples will suffice to make the sexuals were described as having af-
point. Although most studies of homo- fectional and dependency needs re-
sexual protocols indicate greater pro- pressed or absent, while three hetero-
ductivity on the Rorschach, the dif- sexuals were similarly described. Six
ference between the two groups in homosexuals and six heterosexuals
the present study does not reach sig- were described as integrating well
nificance, though there is a trend in these needs. It was said of one homo-
this direction (tz1.389, df= 29, p = sexual and one heterosexual that af-
>.lo). A detailed comparison of total fectional and dependency needs were
M’s and human figures was made. Of ego-alien. Chi square for differences
some 25 computations, of differences between the number of heterosexuals
between means of MYo in various cate- and homosexuals assigned to all cate-
gories (such as flexor or extensor), gories is 5.736, df=lO, insignificant.
differences in form level, variation in Let us turn now to the T A T and
form level, etc., the only ones which MAPS. These were administered as a
approached low significance were the single test, the selected MAPS items
sigma of form level (tz1.98, d f ~ 2 9 , following the T A T . Altogether, 12
p=>.O5), and 0-minus percent (t= pictures were used: SBM, 6BM, 7BM,
2.262, df=29, p= < .02). 12M, 13MF, 16, and 18GF of the
Cronbach’s warning about inflation
-
- e T h e complete data will be reported in the
“See Footnote 4. future publication previously referred to.
HOOKER
EVELYN 25
TABLE
1V-Adjustment Ratings on MAPS-TAT
Ratings
(Top) (Bottom)
Group 1 2 3 4 5
Homosexual .............................................................. 0 9 1:i 6 0
Heterosexual............................................................. -0 7
- 19
- 3
- - 1
Total .................................................................. 0 1F 34 9 1

T A T ; and from the MAPS, the Liv- ords, the T A T protocols were ana-
ing Room, the Street Scene, the Bath- lyzed in succession, with judgments
room, the Bedroom, and the Dream. given, and then the MAPS-the judge
It was hoped that the T A T and not knowing which MAPS protocol
MAPS would be helpful in revealing corresponded with which T A T . This
current conflicts. T h e MAPS was used was done in an effort to prevent a
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in addition to the T A T because of “halo” effect, since honiosexuality was
the opportunity it gives the subject openly revealed in some T A T records
ior the selection of figures together and not in the MAPS (for the same
with backgrounds with different situ- man), and vice versa. Some very in-
ational pulls of particular importance teresting results were obtained, to
in this study. Very fortunately, Dr. which I shall refer Inter.
Shneidman agreed to analyze the Table 111 shows the data on the ad-
MAPS and T A T protocols of the 60 justment ratings. T h e results are es-
subjects, using the same categories for sentially the same as for the Ror-
analysis and overall adjustment as did schach. T h e hornosexuals and hetero-
the Rorschach judges. T h e service he sexuals do not differ significantly in
performed, in terms of sheer energy their rati’ngs: Chi square = 2.72, df
alone, may be suggested by the fact = 4, p = > .70. This judge does not
that he began the task on week-ends place a single subject in Rating 1,
in February, when the first fruit trees and he places only one in Rat-
in our California garden were in ing 5 (a heterosexual). Determining
bloom, and barely escaped before the degree of agreement between
fruit appeared in July. T h e problem the ratings on the Rorschach
of identifying the homosexual proto- and TAT-MAPS constitutes a difficult
col from this material was essentially problem, since two variables are in-
a much easier one than that encount- volved: the judges and the test mate-
ered with the Rorschach, since few rials. A Tschuprow coefficient between
homosexuals failed to give open homo- either Rorschach judge and the T A T -
sexual stories on at least one picture. MAPS judge is 0.20. Perhaps a more
The second task given the Rorschach meaningful way of looking at the ma-
judges, of distinguishing the homo- terial is that between one Rorschach
sexual from the heterosexual records judge (Judge “A”) and the T A T -
when they were presented in matched MAPS judge there is exact agreement
pairs, was therefore omitted. I n every in 15 of the 60 cases (8 homosexual
other respect, however, both with re- and. 7 heterosexual); for Judge “B”
spect to task and procedure and in- there is agreement in 16 cases. When
cluding the recording, the T A T - the ratings of all three judges are put
MAPS judge proceeded as had the together, there is agreement on 14
Rorschach judges. I n the first 30 rec- homosexuals (approximately one-half
ords the T A T and MAPS protocols of the group) as being 3 or better in
for each man were analyzed together, adjustment, and 14 heterosexual^.^
with judgments given about overall
adjustment rating and the other cate- 7 A paper 011 “Homosexuality in the T A T
gories, such as methods of handling and MAPS,” which will contain the fill1 re-
aggression, etc. I n the second 30 rec- port, is i n proces5 of preparation.
26 Tlre Adjustment of tlre Male Ouert Homosexual
Let me turn now to some qualita- is a homosexual except for a ‘give
tive descriptions of the homosexuals away’ on two of the MAPS stories.”
from the projective material. Perhaps This man is in his early 40’s and
even better than do the quantitative holds two master’s degrees in different
results, these will convey the problem. artistic fields from one of the major
Man #IS is described by one judge educational institutions of this coun-
in summary fashion as “an individual try. He had a long career as a college
who has the most superb and smooth teacher-long, and apparently success-
mastery of intellectual processes we ful. H e was caught in what was, to
have seen. Intellectualization is his the police, suspicious circumstances
major defense, although there is no with another man, and in the space of
compulsive flavor. On one side there a few minutes his entire professional
is isolation ot aggression. But essen- career was destroyed. He now is the
tially he is submissive, and since he is manager of a magazine. Although in
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so sensitive and responsive, he cannot his early life he passed through the
give in to the submissive seduction. “cruising” stage, he now has highly
His dependency needs are filtered and stTble personal relationships, includ-
sublimated. He is the ethical type. In- ing a “homosexual marriage.” If one
tellectual introspection must be his brackets the fact that he is a homo-
major preoccupation. He is really bal- sexual, one would think of him as
anced on a razor’s edge. An extremely being a highly cultured, intelligent
clever person.” He was correctly iden- man who, though unconventional in
tified by this judge, who gave him a his manner of living, exhibits no par-
rating of 1, and incorrectly by the tirrilai signs of pathology. He has
other judge, who placed him in Rat- ne\ er sought psychological or psychi-
ing 2. T h e latter describes him in the atric help. He has been a homosexual
following terms: “He gives a n origin- frmn adolescence, with n o heterosex-
al twist to ordinary things. For him it ual experience or inclination.
is very important not to be conven- Let me describe another (Subject
tional. He avoids it like the plague. #50) of these individuals who was
H e tries to keep it cool. I get the feel- placed in adjustment categories 1 or
ing that he wants to deny dependency. 2 by both Rorschach judges and mis-
He has passive longings, but these identified as being a heterosexual. One
would not fit in with his ego-ideal of judge described this man “as being so
being strong, superior, and wise. H e ordinary that it’s hard to say anything
would be able to be very rewarding specific about him. His impulse con-
emotionally. He does not wish t o ex- trol is very smooth. He uses channeli-
pose his aggression ordinarily, but zation rather than repression. Except
would in relation to manly intellec- for a little too much emphasis on con-
tual pursuits. I think he is heterosex- quest in heterosexual relations, he is
ual.” well adjusted and smooth. His aggres-
This man is described on the sive impulses are expressed in phallic
MAPS and T A T as being “the most gratification. Good fusion of tender-
heterosexual-looking homosexual I ness and aggression, though he subju-
have ever seen. Up to the last two gates tenderness to phallic gratifica-
stories on the MAPS, I would say con- tion. He must be a heterosexual. I
fidently, ‘This is a heterosexual rec- would really have to force myself, to
ord.’ His attitudes to sexuality are fair- think of him as not heterosexual.” By
ly moral. H e has refined, quiet rela- the second judge this man is described
tionships to people. I would give him in the following terms: “He must be a
a rating of 2. T h e unconscious con- very interesting guy. H e must convey
flicts are very deep, but they are not comfort to people. H e takes essen-
disturbing clinically. N o idea of clin- tials and doesn’t get lost in details.
ical label. I would not have known he A solid citizen, neatly and solidly in-
EVELYN
HOOKER 27
tegrated, with no specific defenses. father is interrupted, but this, if any-
Neither aggression nor dependency is thing, would be heterosexual. T h e
a problem. I think t‘iiit this man is Bedroom is as normal a heterosexual
hetei osexual.” story as I have ever read.” T h e judge
Man #50 is twenty-seven. He works re-reads the story: “This is almost a n
in the electronics industry, in a very encapsulated homosexual. I don’t
large firm in which he has a super- know if I am just being fancy, but we
visory job. He lives alone in an apart- talk about a guy sometimes who func-
ment, though in an apartment house tions fairly well until you mention
in which other homosexuals reside. ‘Republican’ or ‘Communist’, then
His homosexual pattern involves you plug in a whole series of paranoid
lather a large number of homosexual and delusory material; at this point
partners. He is thoroughly immersed the guy is just crazy. Thzs guy has an
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in the homosexual way of life, but encapsulated homosexual system. If
apart from this I see no particular I had not been shown the Dream
evidence of disturbance. story, I would have bet 85 to 15 that
T h e T A T was analyzed first, and he was heterosexual, and maybe even
on the T A T he talks about homosexu- more. I also feel that this guy is a
ality, thus revealing that he is a homo- male homosexual. He plays the ag-
sexual. T h e judgments to which the gressive, masculine role. But 1 am
clinician comes are essentially that he puzzled. I can hardly speak intelli-
is a promiscuous, driven person; that gently of the dynamics of the homo-
there are compulsive elements; that sexuality when, until the last moment,
he goes from one relationship t o an- I thought of him as heterosexual. I
other, not even aware of what he is would give him a rating of slightly
seeking, a fairly lonely man, although better than 3. Not a rich record; not
with a n adjustment slightly below 3. creative and imaginative. It’s a rather
T h e first four stories of the MAPS perfunctorily heterosexual record. I
were described by the judge as being a m amazed a t this record. H e has in-
definitely heterosexual. O n the last tense involvement with people. H e is
story, the Dream, I should like to not a promiscuous homosexual. There
quote the judge directly: “I am sur- is strong affect. He practically acts like
prised, because what this means is that a husband and father. One of the
this is the record of a homosexual; statements about him is that he is a
and it means that I had not seen this normal homosexual. I mean it’s like a
at all u p to this point. It means, also, guy who has a tic: ordinarily we say
that he doesn’t show it except over the he must have a very serious problem.
jealousy and rivalry of homosexual Maybe he does, but if you examine
partners. T h e record is clean psychi- the material of lots of people who
atrically up to this point. It wasn’t have tics, you will find some people
especially rich, but it would certainly who look pretty good, if you think of
pass. I don’t want to do fancy equivo- normal functioning. Then, after you
cation and say I see it all now, be- have said this, someone tells you, ‘Yes,
cause I don’t see a damn thing now. but he is one of the guys who tics.’
The Living Room is fine; it is as het- And you say, ‘Well, he looks clean to
erosexual as any story we have read in me.’ And that is what this record
the entire series. T h e Street Scene looks like. This record is schizophre-
simply shows the derogatory and dis- nic like I am an aviator. If you want
dainful attitudes that many hetero- proof that a homosexual can be nor-
sexual men have toward female sexu- mal, this record does it.”
ality. I t is not the exclusive approach Man #49 is described by Judge “A”
of the homosexual, though it is con- as follows (Rating 1): “This record
sistent with it. I t has a heterosexual presents less problems of any sort than
Hayor, I n the Bath, the privacy of the any other we have seen. T h e mental
28 T h e Adjustment of the Male Ouert Homosexual
type is very clear-cut, calling a spade 3, but it doesn’t give the flavor. I
a spade. Looks like a well-integrated don’t know what to do.”
person. Impulse control really smooth, At another time the same judge
because he permits all impulses to ex- analyzed the MAPS protocol, in which
press themselves in a context - both no homosexual stories are given. T h e
dependent and aggressive. Of all the judge comments: “I want to comment
cases, the best balance of aggression on his insistence on the normal situa-
and dependency we have seen. No tion and his freedom to use the nude.
problem, clinical or otherwise. Rela- I think this is a very healthy guy, in a
tions with others skilful and comfort- somewhat barren way. I have a feeling
able.” Judge “B” (Rating 2; if not 2, that this is a kind of emancipated per-
a 1): “Able to integrate well with all son who ha5 not made a n issue of be-
stimuli. Effective functioning. Hetero- ing independent but is able to stand
sexual adjustment. Defense used: on his own two feet. T h e fact that he
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some repression. Not an ‘acter outer.’ doesn’t have rich dynamics robs him
Avoids intense emotional stimuli be- of being interesting, creative, and un-
cause they are disorganizing to him.” usual. I rate him as a 2 for sure. I
T h e T A T and MAPS were analyzed don’t know what a 1 would be. He
separately. I n the first four stories of 112 cdles hostility and sexuality easily.
the T A T , the subject was described One shortcoming in the record-not
as being a thorough-going heterosex- pathological-is the conventionality;
ual. I n 13MF the judge comments, and I imply by that a touch of empti-
“Here we have a fairly straightfor- ness. He is able to love and to dislike.
ward heterosexual story.” I n the blank He is a good father and husband and
card in the T A T , the judge says, would be a steady employee. I could
“Here this guy opens u p more than see him as having a better-than-aver-
on tht. others. He is a sleeper. This age job. He would not be a creative or
is one of the best-adjusted and, in a imaginative person. I don’t mean a
sense, one of the most paradoxical rec- Babbitt, but he would not take the
ords I have seen. What is here is in- risk of loving deeply. He is a middle-
decision and a schizoid feeling. So of-the-roader. This is as clean a rec-
this is not in any sense a superior per- ord as I think I have seen. I don’t
sonality. There is some withdrawal think he has strong dependency needs.
and some aridity. This is not an out- He is comfortable, and in that sense
going, warm, decisive person. I t is he is strong. I imply that this is a
a constricted, somewhat egocentric, hetercsexual record specifically.”
somewhat schizoid, perturbed, a little This man is 31, and he works in a
guilty fellow. Even so, it is not a tor- ceramics factory doing fairly routine
mented record and is not necessarily a work. He has a “homosexual mar-
homosexual record. H e talks about riage” of some six years’ duration. He
this quite casually and has a fairly tried very hard to change his sexual
good adjustment to his homosexuality. pattern but was unsuccessful and has
This guy is a very interesting person now accepted the homosexual “life.”
arid quite a complicated guy. I n many H e has not had heterosexual experi-
ways he is both well adjusted to his ence.
homosexuality and the kind of guy O u t of the 30 homosexual men,
who could almost be heterosexual in there were seven who were placed by
a way that other homosexuals could one or the other judge in rating cate-
not be. I don’t think he would be gories 4 or 5. Since these individuals
swishy or over-masculine. He would have what is probably the more ex-
pass. I find him very difficult to rate. pected personality picture, I should
I can’t rate him as 1 or 2. To call him like to describe several. One of these
average is innocuous. H e doesn’t merit is ff6. He was rated by one judge a t
5 or 4. I don’t know. I will call him a 5 level and by the other judge at 2.
HOOKER
EVELYN 29
By the judge who places him at 5, he to preserve distant relations. Doesn’t
is described as a “pseudo-normal, near- want to see sex in people. Sex is very
psychotic, with brittle personality or- repulsive.”
ganization which is fairly stabilized. Thus, there is no single pattern of
His reality testing is uncannily sharp, homosexual adjustment. This had
but he is almost autistic. His chief- de- been anticipated. T h e richness and
fenses are projection and intellectual variety of ways in which the homo-
control. There are strong castration sexual adjusts are as difficult to sum-
fears, strong orality, and the aggres- marize as to summarize 30 full, quali-
sion is projected or transformed into tative pictures of 30 individuals. If I
irony. T h e emotional needs are with- were to read pictures of heterosexuals
ered away.” with the same level of adjustment, the
Man #52 is described by one judge pictures would be essentially the same,
whc places him in the 4 category, as with the exception of the bottom
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“a personality which is basically path- range, where one does not find the
ological. An anal character, with a marked anal-destructive character-
strongly destructive flavor. Anal-sa- structure or the emphasis o n “femin-
distic. A past-master of intellectualiza- inity” (which may occur at other
tion, though superficially socializes it. levels, also).
Ju5t enough reality testing to be clin- T h a t homosexuality is determined
ically normal. Impossible to separate by a multiplicity of factors would not
the hysterical and paranoid elements. now, I think, be seriously questioned.
Lcpendency needs are repressed or T h a t the personality structure and ad-
crippled. Very narcissistic and inca- justment may also vary within a wide
pable of guilt. A cloak of righteous- range now seems quite clear. I t comes
ness over it all.” T h e second judge de- as n o surprise that some homosexuals
scribes him in the following terms: are severely disturbed, and, indeed, so
“There is too much unconscious much so that the hypothesis might be
breaking through. Some ideational entertained that the homosexuality
leakage. A chronic situation to which is the defense against open psychosis.
he has made a n adjustment. He is not But what is difficult to accept (for
paranoid, but obsessive in a paranoid most clinicians) is that some honio-
structure. O n the surface he operates sexuals may be very ordinary individ-
smoothly. Emotional relationships will uals, indistinguishable, except in sex-
lack in depth and warmth. Uses over- ual pattern, from ordinary individu-
ideation as a defense. His primary als who are heterosexual. Or-and I do
method is intellectualization. His de- not know whether this would be more
pendency needs will make him appear or less difficult to accept-that some
demanding. Essentially a character may be quite superior individuals, not
picture.” only devoid of pathology (unless one
Of a somewhat different nature is insists that homosexuality itself is a
+28, who is placed by both judges at sign of pathology) but also function-
the bottom level of adjustment. De- ing at a superior level.
scribed by one judge as “very defen- But before we accept this hypoth-
sive; every impulse ego-alien. Uses de- esis as a plausible one, we must look
nial, intellectualization, and repres- carefully at the limitations of the evi-
sion. High level of narcissism. Re- dence. We have already spoken of the
gresses easily into the infantile. T h e necessity of caution in accepting as
most unbalanced record one could valid the results of “blind” analyses
find.” By the other judge: “This looks of projective test protocols. As clin-
like a clinic record. An anxiety state, icians, we are also cautious about ac-
pre-psychotic. I s more scared of his cepting a n analysis which is not
own fantasies than the world. People “blind.” It may be that the primary
present too many problems; he tries psychological defect, if there is one, in
30 T h e Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual
the homosexual lies in a weakness of least in one respect the life-history
ego-function and control a n d that this data from the two groups will differ:
cannot be adequately diagnosed from namely, in the love relationships.
projective test protocols. As one psy- Comparisons between the number and
chiatrist puts it, the material pro- duration of love relationships, cruis-
duced i n the Rorschach is like that ing patterns, and degree of satisfac-
produced o n the analytic couch. Two tion with sexual pattern and the love-
men may produce very similar mate- partner will certainly show clear-cut
rial o n the couch, but the difference differences.
between them is that one-the normal A question also arises about the
-gets u p at the end of the hour and size of the sample used. I t is possible
resumes his normal functioning, while that much larger samples-for exam-
the other does not. Another way of ple, 100 in each group-would show
looking at the data from the projec- differences. But would we not, in this
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tive tests may be that the homosexual case, be dealing with a different ques-
“pathology” occurs only in an erotic tion, namely, “How many homosexu-
situation and that the homosexual can als, as compared with heterosexuals,
function well in non-erotic situations are average or better in adjustment,
such as the Rorschach, T A T , and and how many are worse than aver-
MAPS. Thus, one could defend the age?” It seems to me that for the pres-
hypothesis that homosexuality is ent investigation the question is
symptomatic of pathology, but that whether homosexuality is necessarily a
the pathology is confined to one sec- symptom of pathology. All we need is
tor of behavior, namely, the sexual. a single case in which the answer is
As I listened to each of the three negative.
judges analyze the 60 records, I was What are the psychological impli-
very much impressed with the useful- cations of the hypothesis that homo-
ness of the projective tests, when in- sexuality is not necessarily a symptom
terpreted by expert clinicians. Often, of pathology? I would very tentatively
the picture of the personality which suggest the following:
emerged bore such a striking resem-
blance to the man as I knew him from 1. Homosexuality as a clinical entity
many hours of interviewing and test- does not exist. Its forms are as
ing that it was difficult to believe that varied as are those of heterosexu-
the judge did not have detailed per- ality.
sonal knowledge as well. Of course 2. Homosexuality may be a deviation
there was great discrepancy in some in sexual pattern which is within
cases. T h e full report of the material the normal range, psychologically.
will contain all of the evidence of the This has been suggested, on a bio-
congruency or lack of congruency be- logical level, by Ford and Beach
tween the life-history materials and (2).
the projective analysis. 3. T h e role of particular forms of
When I speak of the life-history ma- sexual desire and expression in per-
terials, I am highly conscious of the sonality structure and development
fact that these have not been object- may be less important than has fre-
ively rated for adjustment. This pre- quently been assumed. Even if one
sents a problem for the future simi- assumes that homosexuality repre-
lar to that of the T A T and MAPS, sents a severe form of maladjust-
only more so because of the difficulty ment to society in the sexual sector
of controlling for theoretical bias i n of behavior, this does not neces-
judging open homosexual material. sarily mean that the homosexual
Final conclusions cannot be drawn must be severely maladjusted in
until this is done. It can now be said other sectors of his behavior. Or, if
with some certainty, however, that at one assumes that homosexuality is
EVELYNHOOKER 31
a form of Severe maladjustment in- the Advancement of Psychiatry. Report on
ternally, it may be that the disturb- homosexuality with particular emphasis on
this problem in governmental agencies. Re-
ance is limited to the sexual sector port No, 30, Jan,, 1955. pp. 7,
alone. 2. Ford, C. S., and Beach, F. A. Patterns of
sexual behavior New York: Harper, 1951.
REFERENCES l’p. 307.
1 . Committee on Cooperation with Govern-
mental (Federal) Agencies of the Group for Received Octoher 20, 1956
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